Endodontics takes the cake as the most infamous and dreaded of all dental procedures. In fact, the idea of opening one’s mouth really wide so the dentist can drill into the tooth and remove the infected pulp may induce feelings of monumental fear among patients.
One scared patient said that after she was told by her dentist that she needed root canal treatment, she felt like she had just received a death sentence. Someone even joked that he would rather be on the electric chair than have one of these procedures, because then he wouldn’t have to deal with the traumatic memories of the “carnage.”
What exactly is root canal therapy? Endodontics is the process of saving a decayed tooth from extraction by removing the infected nerve and pulp, cleaning and filling the inside of the tooth, and then sealing it. Basically it prevents the spread of infection that leads to tooth loss, even gum disease.
While it may be true that traditional root canal therapies involved a great deal of pain and trauma for the patient, modern dental technology has made it possible to perform these procedures virtually easy and painlessly. Laser root canal procedures use a beam of intense light to remove the nerve and pulp and clean the insides of the tooth. Laser root canal is able to reach the farthest recesses of the tooth’s interiors that traditional instruments may miss. The procedure takes less time, too, so the so-called ‘dental torture’ associated with root canal treatments lasts only a few minutes.
Using lasers in endodontic treatment also eliminates the annoying drilling noise associated with traditional procedures. There is also less bleeding and risk of infection, as well as faster healing and recovery time.
As for the so-called pain while having these procedures, much of it is actually just hype. Of course, the endodontist will not perform the procedure without anaesthetics or he risks getting sued by the patient and having his licence revoked. At the hands of a sympathetic and qualified Endodontist, these procedures are no more complicated than having tooth fillings.
More and more dentists worldwide now use laser technology not only in endodontic treatments but also in other dental procedures. Those who are prone to dental anxiety despite the assurances of a dentist may also opt for sleep dentistry. The patient will be awake but will be in such a relaxed state that a root canal therapy will seem more like a meditation session than an actual dental procedure.